K-M girls advance as a team at section meet
At the beginning of the season, almost every golfer has the goal written down to make the second day of their section tournament. As the Kasson-Mantorville girls golf team approached last week’s Section 1AA Tournament, they knew that they had a couple of young golfers that could find their way to the second day by themselves, but also wanted to get to there as a team in a loaded section.
As the first day of the section tournament wrapped up on May 30, that goal became a reality for the KoMets as they advanced along with Lake City, Red Wing and Rochester Lourdes to play for an opportunity to advance to the state tournament as a team.
“I think the girls are all starting to realize that they can compete with the best teams in Southeastern Minnesota,” K-M golf coach Jeff Bernards said. “Now that we have taken the step to be one of the best four teams [in the section], we can work on competing with the Lake City’s and Red Wing’s of the world.” Leading the way for the girls team were the usual suspects in sophomore Ashley Johnson and freshman Elizabeth Fagerlind. With these two at the top of the leaderboard in most of K-M’s events this season, it was apparent that they would have to have their usual game to make their way toward the top of the standings which is exactly what they did.
Fagerlind led all K-M golfers and finished fifth on the first day with an opening round of 86. Johnson wasn’t far behind as her opening round of 88 found herself in seventh place to give the KoMets a great foundation.
From there, the rest of the team played solid golf as Emma Brookman and Annabel Smith each shot a 104 to give the KoMets a team score of 378. The afternoon put the KoMets in third place behind Red Wing (327) and Lake City (341) and ahead of fellow qualifier Lourdes (398) to punch their team ticket for day two.
While the boys team couldn’t advance as a team to the second day of the tournament, there were bright spots to be found for the KoMets. Eighth-grader Jack Nelson had a solid debut in the section tournament as his even-keeled style of play translated well to Eastwood Golf Course, shooting a team-best score of 86 that included nine pars on the afternoon.
“Jack just doesn’t hit bad shots,” Bernards said of Nelson. “He is a thinker and a smart kid. He works his way around the course well. Now, he needs to take the next step and hit the ball better and farther in order to compete for a chance to go to state.”
Also advancing was Tyler Upham, who didn’t have the same steadiness as Nelson, but found a way to advance thanks to a score of 88 that featured identical 44s on the front and back nines. Rounding out the team was Jack Sorensen and Dylan Yanke, who each posted a 95 to round out the KoMets’ score at 364 and 10th place in the field.
With the first day of sections in the books, the girls team along with Nelson and Upham competed in the second day on Monday. Those who qualify for the state tournament will head to the Ridges at Sand Creek in Jordan for the state golf meet on June 12 and 13.